Air Force Restores Colonel Punished for Christian Beliefs

Air Force symbol air plane (620-240)

The U.S. Air Force has reversed its decision to punish a highly-decorated and respected colonel for his Christian belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Colonel Leland Bohannon was suspended in 2017 because he declined to sign a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for a same-sex spouse of a military member. Bohannon, who has flown combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal, was on the verge of being promoted to a one-star general when he was suspended from command.

Thankfully, our friends at First Liberty stepped in to fight for Col. Bohannon’s religious freedom by appealing on his behalf to the Secretary of the Air Force. The Secretary of the Air Force agreed that Col. Bohannon’s right to free exercise of religion must be respected and recently ruled in the favor of Col. Bohannon.

Commenting on the victory, Hiram Sasser, General Counsel for First Liberty Institute, stated:

“We are very pleased that Secretary Wilson protected the religious liberty of Col. Bohannon. This is clear evidence that the Trump administration is helping to right the ship at the Pentagon. However, we must remember that at every level of the government there are bureaucrats who actively resist President Trump’s efforts to preserve and protect religious freedom. We must do whatever we can to support the administration in this fight.”

This win will not only clear the name of a highly decorated officer but provide increased clarity for commanders responsible for protecting the religious liberty of all service members. It is also a solemn reminder that religious liberty of military members, and all Americans, must still be defended and protected.

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